1902                                  Sultana                                  1961

Steel Great Lakes bulk freighter

Built at West Superior WI by Superior Shipbuilding Co., Hull 503
Launched Feb 15, 1902

366’ LOA, 346’ LBP, 48’ beam, 28’ depth
1 deck, hold beams, hatches @ 24’, coal-fired boilers, triple expansion engine, 1198 IHP

Enrolled at Marquette MI April 10, 1902 (Temp #15)
362.0 x 48.0 x 24.0, 3914 GT, 2850 NT     US 117124     to:
Superior Shipbuilding Co.,

Reenrolled at Duluth MN May 8,1902 (#71) to:
Duluth Steamship Co., Duluth MN, G. A. Tomlinson, Mgr.

Entered service 1902

Remeasured 1911 to 353.2 length and 3630 GT, 2731 NT

Sold March 9, 1923 to Nicholson Transit Co., Detroit MI (home port to Wilmington DE)

Converted 1924 to automobile and package freight vessel

Management of fleet assumed 1924 by Nicholson-Universal Steamship Co., Fred L. Hewitt, Mgr.

Fleet transferred 1927 to Nicholson-Universal Steamship Co., Detroit MI
(William Nicholson sold his fleet to Nicholson-Universal and agreed not to engage in the transportation of automobiles on the Great Lakes for a period of 20 years)

Remeasured 1931 to 48.6 beam and 3613 GT, 2876 NT

Transferred 1942 to Overlakes Freight Corporation, Detroit MI

Sold 1947 to Nicholson Transit Co., Detroit MI

Remeasured 1952 to 3771 GT, 3054 NT

Sold for scrap 1961 to Hyman-Michaels Co., Chicago IL.  Hull later used as refuse barge and scrapped in the 1970s.



4 thoughts on “Sultana

  1. My father – Herbert C Scheonrock – was the chief engineer on the Sultana sometime during the 1940’s. I was looking for information on his time spent on this vessel. I believe he was on several ships that the Nicholson Transit Company owned back then. I am going to travel up to Superior, Wisconsin to see the Monotor (whaleback) this summer – he was on that ship for sure November 1940 when I was born.

    • Back in those years most of the Lakes vessel operators publicly announced shortly before the beginning of the season their appointments of captains and chief engineers for that season. I have looked at the appointments from 1937 through 1949 as published in the Great Lakes Red Books (Nicholson didn’t announce their 1950 appointments). The only time I found your father was for the 1947 season, on the Coralia, another member of the same fleet as the Sultana.

      The Meteor in 1940 was called the South Park, same fleet but before she was sold and converted into a tanker, so I also checked Cleveland Tankers appointments for those years.

      Obviously changes of personnel occur during every season, sometimes temporary to cover temporary absences of the regular officer and sometimes permanent replacements for the rest of the season. I have no records on that but I would guess that your dad was a regular assistant engineer in the fleet who was promoted during seasons to chief.

      • Hey Kathleen, my grandfather, Clyde Tobin, and my father, Donald Tobin were both Captains for Nicholson Transit during that time period. I spent a good chunk of my summers on those boats sailing with my father in the mid to late 6o’s. I did spend time on the Sultana in the summer of 1956 I believe. Allan Tobin

        • You might be interested in the photo on page 315 of Emory Massman’s book The Nicholson Lines and Their Captains, although you may already have a copy of the book. I don’t know if your dad and/or your granddad are mentioned in the text but wouldn’t be surprised if they were.

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